Pacific Beach's location on the ocean ensures it of a temperate climate and plenty of visitors looking for sand, surf and nightlife. Like other San Diego beach towns, PB began during the land boom of 1887. And like other beach towns the land bust in the 1890s caused it to decline but not disappear. The remaining residents turned to lemon growing to survive.
In the early 1900s lots sold for $25 and residents often lived in tents without electricity. The semi-rural beach environment was the norm until World War II. Kate Sessions, famous as the "Mother of Balboa park" opened her nursery in PB in 1914. From this base she transformed many neighborhoods of San Diego with her plantings. Many homes in the Los Altos area have gardens planted by Sessions. Her home remains on Los Altos road and the nursery is marked by a Tipuana tree and a historical marker at Garnet and Soledad Mountain Road.